Money, Marx, Mallarmé, Martinique: Economy and Poetry in Tropiques (1940-1945)
2014 (English)In: Money/L'Argent: 20th/21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Other academic)
This presentation focuses on the Martinican journal of literature, philosophy, and culture, Tropiques (1941-1945) founded by René Ménil and Suzanne and Aimé Césaire at a time of economical crises due to the embargo imposed on the island's Vichy-regime. The journal is characterized by a refusal to deal with economy since the editorial board, strongly influenced by early surrealism, considered it a part of imperialist world domination. But while Tropiques hardly deals with the present economic situation in Martinique, many of the texts signed by the members of the editorial board use economic vocabulary, tapping into Mallarmé's theories on the exchange value of language, alluding to Freudian ideas about gains and losses of the pleasure principle, or referring to anti-imperialist Marxism. This paper explores how the journal appropriates and reinterprets these rather contradictory economic models. I will show that in the uses of economy and money in tropes, metaphors and images the journal's paradoxical desire to release poetry from the present world and at the same time situate poetry is particularly patent. The central question raised by texts in Tropiques referring to economy seems to be how to break with the economical model of colonial capitalism, which, according to them, also dominated the literary market, and still exchange poetry and make poetry useful in the present. In a sense, the poetics developed in Tropiques thereby operate in the tensions between autonomous and committed art long before Jacques Rancière's theories.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Money, negritude, Caribbean Studies, AImé Césaire, René Ménil, Suzanne Césaire, Tropiques
Research subject Literature; Romance Languages
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-221598OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-221598DiVA: diva2:709678
Money/L'Argent 20th/21st Century French and Francophone Studies International Colloquium